WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – Wichitans pled with city council members Tuesday in order to save a local pool.
Dozens of adults and children joined the meeting to talk about saving McAdams.
The pool was closed back in February due to attendance and cost concerns. The pool will be converted to a splash pad.
Residents who use the pool say closing it takes away a vital part of their community.
“You adults keep telling us kids to take pride in our community. But you adults wanna take all of our resources. What’s left for us to take pride in?” said Timora Parker, Wichita resident.
Timora is 8 years old and she took the stand Tuesday to address the city council in regards to her neighborhood pool not being available to her and her friends this summer.
“I’m here to talk about how this has changed our summer,” said Parker. “All the adults have their memories in the pool, this was supposed to be our time to make our memories.”
Others in attendance included Dr. Amy Seery, who says splash pads are an ineffective alternative for older children. She added that taking away the pool has done more than deprive kids in the community of water activities.
“It’s a huge psychological blow to realize that your neighborhood is being devalued; that you deserve less resources than other places around the same city,” said Dr. Seery.
Mayor Longwell spoke for the first time in response to that comment saying that the city has spent over $3 million on numerous projects, in the McAdams neighborhood. Parks and recreation currently offers a bus system that will take children in these neighborhoods to the YMCA but some say that has not been effective adding that parents still have to find a way to the selected YMCA and fill out tax compliant paperwork.
“It is very apparent that they are looking at dollars over human beings,” said Council of the Elders representative, Wakeelah Martinez. “Therefore, this movement will continue and we will bring other people who will also bring other statistics to show why and how it is possible to keep McAdams pool open.”
Swim USA and local sororities say they are also planning to help bring attention to the pool.